Most of the activities in modern day life contribute to the increase of carbon footprint in the ecosystem. By definition, â€˜carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused by nations, organisations, and individuals. It is important to know that these emissions could be caused directly by activities like driving a car or it can be caused indirectly like the purchase of a product. The products that we buy from the market gets produced and transported across the country or globe resulting in the use of fuel and energy. This indicates that almost all our activities result in increasing carbon footprint. It may not be possible to completely eliminate carbon footprint given the kind of lifestyle we follow at the present age. But, we can definitely take steps to curb it. Here we will focus on how logistics industry can contribute to check greenhouse gas emissions.
The logistics industry is a fast growing industry in the current business scenario. While this industry has made our lives super convenient and easy, it has been found that logistics industry is responsible for about 6% of total greenhouse gas emissions. This is inclusive of the fuel use and the energy consumption in warehouses. Having said that we cannot for obvious reasons limit the business of logistics, hence we need to take measures to build an energy-efficient supply chain network that will result in reduced carbon footprint. The below alterations in the logistics business can potentially impact to create a healthier environment and make logistic service more sustainable:
- Use of green vehicles â€“ Use of green vehicles or mechanically modifying delivery trucks to control emission can be beneficial too.
- Identify carbon emission processes involved in the supply chain â€“ It may not be an easy task to address the entire supply chain mechanism at one go. Hence, identifying some of the key areas and gathering information of how much carbon is generated at every point in the supply chain will set the pace for understanding the carbon footprint of each product or service, determining sources of maximum carbon emissions and opportunities for reduction, and considering alternate methods to reduce the footprint that would be cost-effective and practical.
- Route optimisation – Route optimisation will result in reduction of partially loaded or not loaded trucks on the road. And this could be one of the many ways to optimise supply chain networks.
- Energy-efficient warehouses â€“ Warehouses are a significant part of logistics business. At the same time, they are also points of carbon emission. Hence, using energy-efficient products like solar panels and LED lights would considerably reduce carbon emission.
- Eco-friendly packaging â€“ Use of eco-friendly packaging material like cardboard instead of plastic, recycling packaging materials, and usage of the right amount of packing material will eventually reduce the burden on the environment.
- Intermodal logistics â€“ Combining different types of transport like ships and trains for bulk transportation could be another option to reduce the number of trucks plying on the road.
- Slow down supply chain â€“ Though contrary to the fast paced service we all look forward to these days, but the fact is – faster the vehicle, more is the carbon emission. Thus, slowing down supply chain can have an impact on the reduction of emission too.
Undoubtedly, the speed of service is a major factor in the logistics business. But, at the same time, both the parties – the logistics companies and the consumers need to understand and consider the harmful trail we are leaving behind. Thus, not compromising on the comfortable lifestyle, we can still alter few of our processes for a greener ecosystem.